FRENCH BOOKBINDER'S TICKET
HANCARVILLE, Pierre Francois Hugues, called d', & François-Anne DAVID. ANTIQUITES ETRUSQUES,GRECQUES ET ROMAINES. Gravées par F. A. David. Avec leurs explications; par d'Hancarville. Paris: Chez l'Auteur, [M. David,] rue des Cordeliers, au coin de celle de l'Obsrvance, 1785[-1788]. First French edition and the second edition, but in a smaller format, of the first English/French lamguage edition published at Naples 20 years earlier.
Engraved title-page in each volume, engraved dedication in volume 1, and 354 (of 361) engraved plates, mostly hand colored (all but 24), plus one duplicate plate in Volume 1 (#69). Two plates in Volume 1 (#28 & #29) are printed on the same sheet. The missing plates are Volume 4, nos. 59, 64, 68, 71, and Volume 5, nos. 52-54.
Five small quarto volumes, 20.5 x 13 cm, in contemporary bindings by Gaugain of Paris, with his handwritten ticket on the verso of the ffep. in Volume 1. Mottled calf bindings with gilt decoration, red and green spine labels, a.e.g. Bindings show general shelfwear, occasional scuffing, and shallow loss at crowns. One plate is bound upside down (Volume 4, #17); and the spine labels for Volumes 3 and 4 are transposed. Occasional light foxing to text in Volumes 4 and 5, otherwise the text and plates are clean.
The first edition of this work was published at Naples in 1766-67, in both English and French, under the title "Antiquités étrusques, grecques et romaines, tirées du cabinet du chevalier William Hamilton," as a large-size four-volume folio edition limited to only 500 copies. It documents William Hamilton's first collection of Greek vases, largely acquired from the Porcarini family, which he sold to the British Museum in 1772.
Hamilton began collecting vases in 1764, when he was appointed envoy to Naples. Hancarville, a self-made antiquarian who had worked with Winkelmann, and who was familiar with local society, acted as Hamilton's agent and wrote the text describing the collection. Hamilton valued his vases as models for modern artists and designers; and the catalog of his collection was influential in the development of neo-classical designs for pottery and porcelain, especially Wedgwood. In this second edition, entirely in French, David and d'Hancarville present the contents of the work in a more accessible format. (Blackmer 847; Grasse II, p. 340; Ramsden, French Bookbinders, p. 91).